Throughout railway history its been common for locomotives to be officially named by the owning railway company. Bestowing a name on a locomotive somehow makes it more unique and gives it an identity that a mere number never can.
The names chosen were many and varied - names of famous race horses, castles, mountains, greek gods - to name just a few sources. Large cast metal nameplates were securely affixed prominently to both sides of the locomotive body so that the name could be proudly displayed.
For the freight railway companies operating today the names selected often mark a business link between the railway company and a particular customer.
The very last steam locomotive built for British Railways in 1960 carried the name 'Evening Star'. Roll on 56 years and GB Rail Freight has taken delivery of the last class 66 locomotive to be constructed numbered 66779. To mark the event the locomotive has been painted in a lined green livery and to complete the homage to that last steam locomotive, it too has been named 'Evening Star'.
The naming ceremony took place on 10th May 2016 in the Great Hall of the National Railway Museum in York. Appropriately, in addition to the surrounding historic railway artefacts, the steam locomotive Evening Star was positioned centrally and facing the 'new' Evening Star.
Pictures from the event can be found here;